Our leaders are meant to protect us. We entrust that our leaders will make the correct choices and make rational judgements.
Why then are we in a situation where we are using the Paris atrocity as a reason to go into Syria militarily? The reason is because IS are in Syria, but IS have been in Syria for well over a year so why now? If you have watched the wall to wall media coverage recently you will realise that it’s in large part down to the idea that IS terrorists have infiltrated our borders via the migrant crisis and that they are all heading this way en mass.
Not one of the terrorists involved in the Paris attacks have been shown to have come from Syria. Not one has been proven to have come via the migrant crisis. In fact every identified terrorist so far has been proven to be either a French or Belgium national. So why are we pushing to go to war in Syria?
Yet again the people will have been duped into supporting more Bombs and more war and in the process creating more terrorists. History tells us that intervention in the Middle East ends the same way, more or less, each and every time.
“The terrorists” already have british and U.S. weapons and vehicles. Going back until at least the middle of the 1990’s and beyond the West has been supplying and training “moderate” groups in the Middle East, to be used as proxies in our own interests and each and every time it has backfired on the West immensely. The most obvious example is Al Qaeda. Trained and armed by the U.S. When Iraq became a waste ground after the second Iraq war a group broke off from Al Qaeda and took many of the West’s weapons and vehicles and started their own organisation in their own vision. Their name? ISIS.
ISIS began their deadly assault across Iraq and it was quite some time before the West realised what was happening on the ground and soon it became apparent that IS were heading towards Syria. Syria was already in the midst of a civil war. Rebel groups there had decided that they did not want the Assad regime any longer. However it soon became apparent that other moderate terrorist groups were infiltrating the rebels including the likes of al-Nusra. The concern at the time was that IS would soon infiltrate these groups and recruit the rebels.
Even prior to IS reaching Syria the West had been warning that IS posed the ‘single greatest threat to world stability’ and that they were ruthless and their numbers were growing day in day out, at one point figures were being quoted as the grip being 10,000 strong, possibly many more. We in the West were left in no doubt that IS were the most dangerous terrorist organisation we had ever faced.
If anyone can recall, the efforts to stop them reaching Syria was quite frankly pathetic. The U.S. claimed they had started to Bomb them from the air and the Iraq forces were mobilised to try and stop them on the ground. They all failed. Having seemingly not even dented their numbers nor their resolve. Remember, this group were the single greatest threat to world stability and we had the access to Iraq and the permission of the Iraqi (puppet) government to be there. The efforts were paltry.
At some stage IS entered Syria and the chance was gone. Fear not, the US and its allies promised they would follow IS into Syria and destroy them. The civil war continued but over a year and a half later.. Where are we?
The U.S. has admitted that it is there in part to see that Assad is removed from power for his barbarous behaviour towards his people and that they have been funding and arming moderate rebel groups to fight the Assad regime. When this was discovered the US claimed they would pull the plug on the funding. Recall earlier we mentioned that these groups had been infiltrate by terrorist organisations but that didn’t seem to concern the US. As a side issue, IS remained in Syria, barely touched. What had the US been doing for a year and a half?
Then of course Russia stepped in and within a couple of months has done more damage, along with the Kurds and support of the Iranians, to IS than America has done in the past year and a half. Think about that. How can that possibly be?
We must not forget that if the US had been targeting just IS it is possible that the threat of European home grown terrorism would have been stifled. That the Paris attacks this year may never have happened. That intervention would have been legal. To look to tackle Assad though and to be in Syria for that purpose is against international law. Regardless of what you may think of Assad himself. Don’t be fooled. There are plenty of dictators around the world we could tackle but don’t and likely never will.
What though does all this have to do with our intervention now? Surely tackling IS now is the way forward if everyone is on the same page. As Frankie Boyle put it, tackling IS by Bombing them is akin to dealing with a wasps nest by hitting it with a stick. If anything what you will be doing is making those bees far more angry and dispersing them.. Perhaps across Europe.
If history in the Middle East has taught us anything it’s this; our strategy fails every single time.
Afghanistan was a long war. The West lost plenty of troops. They said it could be another Vietnam. Unwinnable. The troops have all but left yet recent reports suggest the Taliban are beginning to take back ground and push the countries military back. Will this war have been for nothing?
Don’t be fooled by Iraq either, it’s currently the focus of the world but it’s got a long history and it’s almost certain that rebel groups will emerge once more when the dust settles.
The Middle East is like water. You can put pressure on it however much you like, it will just displace somewhere else until the pressure is released.
So what of the French bombing runs on Raqqa, Syria?
The reports coming in from the French sorties on Raqqa have already said that in some cases “empty buildings” were hit, and in other reports that IS have fled Raqqa and gone to the next town/city. Bombs dropped for nothing. Some reports have suggested that their have either been “no” reported civilian casualties or there have been “some” civilian casualties. Any civilian casualty is too much. Especially if you haven’t found your target.
Let’s hope that’s not the case because that’s one of the things Assad was accused of doing ‘to his own people’ and one of the reasons why the US wants to remove Assad.
But it’s France, so it probably doesn’t matter.
We also heard that Emwarzi (aka Jihadi John) and the leader of IS in Libya were killed by US drone strikes within days of each other.
Apart from raising the question of, if you knew where these people are why haven’t you done more to tackle IS in the last year and a half.. Have we had that ‘confirmation’ of either kill yet? Considering it was never reported as being definite or was this just part of the effort to outdo Russia’s involvement?
On PMQ’s today Jeremy Corbyn asked David Cameron what he will do about the people, institutions and countries that are funding and supporting IS. David Cameron said that it was banks “that had been taken over” by IS, the oil depos “that had been taken over by IS” that needed to be dealt with but did not address in any way whatsoever the question of countries or states that are supporting IS. Putin recently stated the same thing as Jeremy Corbyn, in fact he went further, citing the same charge but far more directly. This is not a coincidence. Someone is arming and funding IS. It’s high time the British people asked the question, “Who?”.
It’s also high time the victims of the French terror attacks also asked the question, “Who?”
Syria is a mess and as sure as night follows day and day follows night this isn’t going to end well for someone and the effects of our actions today will continue to reverberate through generations of confused Middle Eastern citizens. One day they too will ask the same question we should be asking now. “Who?”